The HTC Dream, the first fruit of Google's foray into mobile phones, will be available for preorder from T-Mobile during a one-week window starting September 17. The artificial time scarcity seems designed to create iPhone-like hype. And perhaps the Dream will succeed at that. At $150 along with a two-year contract and a new, probably more expensive, unlimited data plan, this is the first wireless device I've seen that looks like real iPhone competition. Sure, it has Google's Android operating system, a touch screen and 3G speeds, but it also has a keyboard. And it's from HTC, the Taiwanese handset manufacturer that makes really nice phones — mostly for Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system until now. But just like the iPhone, the don't-call-it-a-Googlephone won't really bust up the carrier-handset-operating-system industrial complex that has long bedeviled the mobile market.I recently purchased the HTC Dash, right before the California Supreme Court struck down as illegal early contract termination fees — otherwise, I might have gone and signed up for an iPhone myself. But I love the Dash since it, too, has real buttons and is slim enough not to disrupt the hang of a jacket. Even at over a year old (which is about 35 in Hollywood actress years), it's still selling well despite two major drawbacks: Windows Mobile and T-Mobile. Similarly, the iPhone is locked to Apple and AT&T. Want an application? You'll have to buy it from the App Store via iTunes. Want a different carrier? Tough noogies. Apple didn't so much break the lock between handset manufacturers and carriers as much as they inserted themselves as a third gatekeeper. While HTC has close ties to Microsoft — its U.S. offices are based in Seattle, and veteran Windows Mobile developers work at the company — the phone maker won't be leaving Microsoft country. It's just applying for dual citizenship in Mountain View. Dream buyers will be locked to buying T-Mobile voice and data plans, regardless. While customers wait, the current release is likely off in Germany somewhere being larded up with crappy default applications from Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent, which clings to a desperate Teutonic hope you might be dumb enough to continue using its T-Zones wireless services, baked into every T-Mobile phone. Google's and Apple's entry into wireless just means that lock-in is getting extended from our phones to the desktop. Getting Windows Mobile to sync with my iTunes on my MacBook and Google Calendar and email was a project that took an entire evening. It still doesn't work over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. My father, who took one look at my phone after losing his own and bought one, had no difficulty synching his Outlook contacts and Hotmail account with his Windows PC. Any bets on how easy it will be to sync a phone running Android with Yahoo Mail or iTunes? So if you dream of buying a handset based on its hardware features, then picking an operating system to run on it, and then choosing a wireless carrier which works well in your neighborhood, keep dreaming. Google would rather join the wireless club, and lock you into its own set of services. The Googlephone promised to set us free, and the Dream looks beautiful — but it's just another cell phone.